East Stroudsburg, Monroe County - Many happy toddlers turn into tearful tots at doctor's office. Some are upset by unfamiliar faces. Others are unsure about strange looking tools. Mother Linday Pontius said, "When they are scared, it's hard for you to calm them."
But doctors say taking your kid to their offices doesn't have to be a battle. Doctor Sushil Mody runs the Pediatrics Department at Pocono Medical Center. He's part of a national program called "Show us Your Tots." "It's different ways that help women to understand how to make their children more comfortable with the visit and for them to get the most out of a pediatric visit," said Mody.
He gave Pontius some advice. First, try having a pretend doctor visit with your child he explained. "For some children it really helps to prepare for the visit by having toys at home. Playing with the stethescope, playing with the opthalmascope. Most kids do well with that."
It also helps to talk to your child about what to expect at the appointment. Mody has printed hand outs that parents can use as a guide. He said,"Some children do better when you explain to them in advance whether they are going to get vaccines or not." He cautioned that other children prefer not to know in advance. Make your decision based on your child's temperament.
If your toddler has separation anxiety, ask if you can hold him or her during the check up. Mody said, "We try to keep children with their moms. Sometimes we examine them in their laps to make them more comfortable."
Making kids comfortable with doctors can help keep them healthy throughout life.
The "Show us Your Tots" program is part of a national initiative called "The Spirit of Women." It works to provide good health foundations for families.